Bloom: Celebrating Life in Bloomington has uploaded parts of the April/May issue to their website, including the article about the Bloomington poetry scene. To read profiles of & poems by a bunch of Hoosier poets (Cathy Bowman, Roger Mitchell, Jenny Kander, Patricia Coleman, Tony Brewer, and yours truly), go to the Bloom Magazine archive and click on "The Beat Goes On: Bloomington's Poetry Scene." The article is in pdf format.
2. Some poems
I thought it might be interesting to offer a list of the poems we talked about in Carl Phillips' workshop the other week (other than the student workshop poems). We talked about various aspects of these poems, primarily focusing on how they create and disrupt patterns (language, syntax, placement on the page, etc.) and how we can use what we see in these poems to help us revise our own work. Some of them were already familiar to me, but a number of them were new, and I feel like I learned quite a lot about how to read poems as well as about writing/revising the things myself. Anyway, these are not necessarily in the order in which we discussed them, though we did start off the week by looking at the Jarrell & returned to it frequently in the course of our discussions.
Randall Jarrell, "90 North"
Martha Collins, "hang" and "burn" (from Blue Front)
Robert Creeley, "The Souvenir" and "Kore"
Carol Frost, "To Kill a Deer"
Robert Frost, "After Apple-Picking"
Marilyn Hacker, "Pornographic Poem"
Robert Hass, "At Stinson Beach"
Langston Hughes, "Island"
Laura Jensen, "The Red Dog" and "The Crow Is Mischief"
Brigit Pegeen Kelly, "The Dragon"
Peter Klappert, "No Turtles"
Yusef Komunyakaa, "Venus's-Flytraps"
Sharon Olds, "I Go Back to May 1937"
Muriel Rukeyser, "Looking At Each Other"
Sandro Penna, "The Stars Don't Move" (trans. W.S. DiPiero)
Louise Glück, "Mock Orange"
Ellen Bryant Voigt, "Largesse" and "Song and Story"
I was reminded all week that reading poems with other poets & talking about what we can learn from them, as poets, is something I really miss in my life right now -- and is probably my biggest motivation towards getting an MFA. I will always write on my own, and summer workshops are great for getting my workshopping fix; but studying the work of other poets, contemporary & otherwise, just feels so important to me right now -- and having some guidance with that would be absolutely lovely. I really liked how Phillips guided us through these poems & what he chose to emphasize about them -- it felt like a very useful & fruitful approach. Definitely something I could stand a little more of.